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区块链国际资讯

用区块链技术能颠覆传统超市吗?INS认为可以

本周,来自莫斯科的区块链创企INS通过公开发售代币成功融资4300万美元。

一直以来,消费者主要都是通过零售商购买各种生活用品。但是这种古旧的"消费者-经销商-制造商"三级结构效率非常低下,而且价格空间长期被零售商把控。据了解,英国目前共有约7000多家产品制造商和2500万个家庭购物群体,但是占据中间环节的大型零售商只有4家,掌握了近76%的市场份额。

而INS想做的就是用区块链技术去除中间商环节,帮助消费者降低购物成本。此外,制造商也可以因此而节约大约17%的营销费用,转而利用这笔资金为终端消费者提供个性化、定制化促销和产品。

据INS透露,制造商可以直接将在INS生态系统平台上进行罗列和销售,这样制造商就可以直接控制产品价格,而且还可以及时了解客户反馈,为忠实用户提供更多的促销优惠。

INS计划2018年底正式在全球市场登陆,初期将先在欧盟、美国和东欧地区的一些大城市进行试点。目前INS还未宣布将采用何种区块链技术。不过有关人士认为,INS应该不会采用以太坊,因为其处理速度无法满足上述产品需求。

其实,这并不是INS创始团队第一次涉足百货行业。该公司联合创始人Peter Fedchenkov 和Dmitry Zhulin此前就曾投资过一家名为Instamart的俄罗斯在线百货递送服务商,后者累计获得了1000多万美元的风投资金。目前,Fedchenkov仍然担任着Instamart的首席执行官。

与Instamart一样,INS希望能够通过自己的运营中心存储货物,然后通过独立快递商运送货物。

据了解,Collinstar Capital和Blockchain Ventures都对INS进行了投资。而且INS还与Bancor合作,利用后者的技术为INS代币提供更加便捷的交易与资金流水服务。

Imagine a world where consumers buy their groceries directly from manufacturers, cutting grocery stores and supermarkets completely out of the equation. That’s a future that blockchain startup INS wants to enable. And the company has just raised roughly $43 million (60,000 Ether) in a public token sale to make it happen.

INS says seven of the top-20 fast-moving consumer goods companies in the world have shown significant interest in the platform; it cites Unilever and Mars as two examples. Beyond the top-20, the company has also “gained a total of 500 manufacturers interested in listing or having signed memoranda of understanding expressing their strong commitment to the project once it goes fully operational,” a company spokesperson told VentureBeat.

“The grocery industry in its current shape is inefficient and controlled by retailers. For example, in the U.K. there are over 7,000 manufacturers and 25 million households dependent on four key grocery retailers controlling 76 percent of the market. INS will adopt blockchain to cut the middleman – wholesalers and retail stores – to help consumers save up to 30 percent on grocery shopping,” the company said in a statement.

Manufacturers, meanwhile stand to save on the 17 percent of their revenue they currently spend on trade promotions and can replace those trade promotions with personalized, targeted promotions to end customers.

Any manufacturer will be able to list and sell products in the “INS Ecosystem,” giving them complete control over product pricing, the company said. Manufacturers will also be able to use the platform to get customer feedback and provide promotions to loyal customers. Smart contracts on the blockchain will enable these direct sales.

The Moscow-based startup plans to launch internationally by the end of 2018, beginning in the largest EU, U.S., and Eastern European cities. But development appears to be in the early stages. INS has not yet announced which blockchain it will be running on, for example. (It requires high availability, a property it notes Ethereum isn’t currently able to offer due to its slow transaction speeds.) However, it is in the final stages of negotiations with a “full range blockchain service company,” according to a company spokesperson. With an alpha launch planned for Q3 2018, it’s hard to imagine a full operational rollout by Q4.

Still, the INS team isn’t new to the grocery business. Cofounders Peter Fedchenkov and Dmitry Zhulin previously founded Instamart – a leading online grocery delivery service in Russia that drew over $10 million of VC funding. Fedchenkov remains CEO of Instamart. The team is also being advised by Ilya Yakubson, ex-president of Dixy (a large grocery retail chain in Russia).

Like Instamart, INS plans to operate its own fulfillment centers to stock groceries. A network of independent couriers and courier companies will handle delivery.

You can see a mock-up of the planned service here and you can view its fulfillment app mock-up here.

Collinstar Capital and Blockchain Ventures have invested in INS. And the startup has partnered with Bancor to provide easy exchange and liquidity options to the INS token.


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